Asbestos in Talc Powder

Summary

Talc powder has a wide number of uses. We are familiar with its use in baby powder and other cosmetic products, but it is also used in a variety of other industries. Talc powder is used in construction materials, plastics, rubber, coatings, pharmaceutical reasons, paper-making, agricultural reasons and much more. But talc powder's properties that make it so appealing are also what make it danegrous—talc powder closely resembles asbestos and triggers many of the same diseases as asbestos does.

Talc Powder Industry

Talc powder is considered a useful product because its qualities improve the products without increasing the price. Currently, talc powder is being researched to find even more uses for it.

This makes the talc powder industry very important in a lot of ways. Products would be more expensive if it was not used. Making talc is done through mining talc rocks and then crushing, drying and milling them to make them into the powder we all know well.

However, there are certain precautions that should be used when handling talc powder. Talc powder has been shown to cause some adverse health effects due to its close resemblance to asbestos.

Talc in Baby Powder

Talc is useful because it is moisture resistant. That’s why it’s used on babies to make them dry and avoid such painful conditions as diaper rash. It can also eliminate moisture on rubber products such as rubber gloves and various other products. Needless to say, the important thing that must be kept in mind is that talc powder is very useful, but it is vital to be cautious while using it.

Why Is Talc Dangerous?

During the process of turning talc from a rock to a powder, many minerals are eliminated, but the small fibers that have a similar effect to asbestos are not removed. These fibers are considered a carcinogen—a cancer-causing agent. 

MJN Brief

Studies have shown that talc powder has been associated with an increased risk of urinary tract disorders and ovarian cancer.

 

When handling talc powder, it’s very important to make sure ventilation is adequate and use any necessary safety equipment. Many facilities that frequently handle talc powder for manufacturing reasons and also facilities that make talc powder should have an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) available that outlines the precautions, the ingredients and what to do if injury occurs.

Using masks and being in well-ventilated areas is key to being safe while using talc powder, whether for personal use or in an industrial setting. Following all precautions and using it only for its intended purposes will ensure safety.

If you suspect you’ve developed a health condition related to talc use, then contact our Justice Support Team today.